Volunteer Firefighter Passes Away

January 13, 2011 Updated Jan 13, 2011 at 7:42 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

January 13, 2011 Updated Jan 13, 2011 at 7:42 PM EDT

Blasdell, NY (WKBW) - Firefighters at Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company in mourning following the passing of one of their comrades. Wednesday night, 26-year-old Jarrett Eleam passed away at Mercy Hospital following a training exercise. Fire officials tell Eyewitness News Eleam became ill Monday after he participated in a self-contained breathing apparatus training drill at the fire hall located on South Park Avenue in Blasdell. Eleam was transported Monday to the hospital but his health began to deteriorate and he passed away at 8:30pm Wednesday night. An investigation into his death is now underway.

"He was a very outgoing person, and had great personality," said Fire Chief Ed Hughes. "The kids loved him and he was going to be a future star in our fire company."

Eleam served as a volunteer firefighter for the last year and a half and is originally from the Pittsburgh, PA area. A memorial fund is being created at M&T Bank branches in Eleam's honor to benefit the fire company. Funeral arrangements are still being finalized.